NJ weather: Two storm systems to watch over Thanksgiving weekend
The Bottom Line
Tuesday will be better. The 'dead-of-winter' flavor of chill will relent, winds will calm, and temperatures will start to warm. Leading to pleasant November-ish weather for the grand holiday getaway. The before-Thanksgiving forecast looks great.
Even those traveling (or expecting family) long-distance will find good weather across most of the U.S. There are two exceptions, where airline delays and cancellations may pose problems: A bit of rain and snow Tuesday in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho), and the chance for heavy rain on Wednesday-Thursday in the Deep South (Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi).
New Jersey's after-Thanksgiving weather will turn a bit iffy and occasionally wet. We're staring down showers for Friday, followed by even rainier weather on Sunday.
Again, the operative word for Tuesday's forecast is "better".
Temperatures on this Tuesday morning are in the 20s and 30s. Still chilly. You'll still need a coat or jacket. But not as cold as Monday morning, with near-record teens and 20s.
The biggest improvement of all will be lighter winds. Blowing out of the southwest up to about 12 mph. I'm definitely down for a less blustery day.
So it will be sunny, dry, and cool. High temperatures should reach the upper 40s to around 50 Tuesday afternoon. That is about 5 degrees below normal for late November. Feeling more December-ish than January-ish.
Tuesday night will be calm and quiet, chilly and dry. Look for lows in the 30s — only part of the state will freeze overnight.
Finally, after a crazy month of weather, we squeeze out one perfectly seasonable, pleasant November day.
30s in the morning. 50 to 55 in the afternoon. With sunshine, light winds, and dry weather. Conditions couldn't be better for the big holiday weekend getaway day.
No complaints, although a weak front will knock back temperatures a couple of degrees.
Winds will be nice and light Thursday morning, allowing the parade balloons to fly without issue.
Clouds will increase throughout Thanksgiving Day, but our weather will stay completely dry all day. High temperatures will reach the lower 50s.
Black Friday. Lots of shopping, leftovers, family plans, and travel. And here is when our weather will go downhill again.
A storm system sliding through New Jersey will produce a chance for rain showers on Friday. "Showers" refers to scattered, light rainfall. "Scattered" means not everyone will necessarily get wet, and it's not going to rain all day. "Light" means rainfall totals will be unimpressive, and flooding/visibility concerns are negligible. "Rain" means the chance of wintry weather is very low.
There are a few difference among weather models regarding 1.) when the best chance of rain will be, 2.) where in NJ it will be wettest, and 3.) just how long it will last. But I feel comfortable putting forth a forecast with clouds and showers. And that's it.
Under the raindrops and cloud cover, high temperatures on Friday should be on the mild side. My latest forecast puts highs between 55 and 60 degrees for most of the state.
The Extended Forecast
Saturday should be fine, with a mix of sun and clouds and highs in the 50s.
Our next next storm system will be a bit more impactful. Not only because of its Sunday timing — one of the biggest travel days of the entire year. But also because pockets of steadier, heavier rain are on the table too.
Again, there are some guidance differences regarding the timeline and rainfall totals. We'll figure those details out in the coming days. For now, I would just expect a period of wet, inclement weather from late Saturday night through much of Sunday.
You know what's not showing up in any forecast? Snow and ice. This storm system will carry warmer air, keeping temperatures above freezing for the duration. Any chance of wintry weather from this storm system will remain far to our north. (Maybe around Maine and eastern Canada.)
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow him on Facebook or Twitter for the latest forecast and realtime weather updates.